Monday, March 09, 2009

Billboards...

I went down to New Orleans last weekend and passed by this in-your-face Eatel "FiberEdge" billboard in Ascension Parish south of Baton Rouge on I-10. "Ascension loves it. Cox hates it." Whoa! Definitely playing on both localism and the generalized hostility toward the national cable provider. There's a billboard war going on up and down the interstate between Eatel and Cox—with Eatel definitely the brasher of the two. (This a tradition...remember Eatel's ads in the Lafayette papers?) So far we've not seen much in the way of LUS advertising here. But I'm hoping for something equally spirited.


Of course Cox is already in the field with its advertising and has been since shortly after the last lawsuit failed and the bonds were sold. We've even seen a few that seem localized in that they refer to fiber--but probably draw off what Cox is learning it needs to do in the Northeast where it faces Verizion's network which actually is fiber (all the way, all the way, all the way to the home) This bit of deliberately misleading advertising is found on Evangeline Thruway not far from my house and is particularly irksome. Cox is trying to lay claim to the very "fiber" that they so vigorously opposed our actually getting. Sure Cox—and AT&T and every other provider in the nation—uses fiber in the backbone where it provides unrivaled speed, lower maintenance, and huge capacity. Those are precisely the qualities that we're now going to get all the way to our homes with LUS Fiber. There's nothing particularly unusual, much less "advanced" about backbone fiber. Fiber To The Home, on the other hand is actually advanced and is something Cox is still insisiting we don't need. FUD advertising aside.

I'm looking for that LUS message that would look good on a billboard I've picked out about a mile down Evangeline: "Providing Lafayette with real fiber—At Last"

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, Cox does provide fiber to businesses.

John said...

All the way? I hadn't heard that was common. I wonder what sort of ONT (the box at the premise that translates light into electrical pulses) they use...LUS is using Alcatel.

A peek at the Cox Acadiana Business site reveals that if they are delivering fiber to the premise they don't brag on it. I would expect that they would. I did see a Cox business truck outside a little corner grocery today. I'll have to go back to to twelfth St. and see what they did there.

Apparently Cox is charging busineses an installation fee that is large enough that they they can take a 150 dollars off the top...a lot of companies charge by how far they have to bring services. And Cox wants a 3-year contract.

Speed said...

Cox has one of the most hypocritical advertising campaigns I've ever seen, and I am loving other companies hammering them. Like you said, to be anti-fiber because they didn't want to spend the money in our area and didn't want the competition, and then to boast about their fiber network, which is deceptive to say the least, just makes me angry that I have to wait any longer to switch.
Plus, I could just about imagine where we'd be if Cox didn't have any competition. We'd probably only have 1Mbps internet service with 5 HD channels.
John, you should put a quote on your website: "Cox...your enemy in the digital age." :-)

FGF said...

Verizon's Fios product in some multi story apartment buildings is actually FTTB, they're doing that in NYC quite a bit, with VDSL from the basement to the subscriber.

John said...

FGF,

Re Verizon: Yup, that's pretty common...and what distinguishes "FTTP"—fiber to the premises from fiber to the home (at least for me). It's also true that many of the asian countries that talk about fiber have a large admixture of a similar system. And Europe for that matter where sometimes even 4-5 home buildings are wired "to the basement." Rewiring old buildings is a chore and the endpoint electronics expensive.

It can be done more or less well, of course: if you can't supply the premise node with enough bandwidth you end up with exactly the same situation we see too often today; too little capacity to meet demand on a daily basis. FTTP does, if done right, at least allows a conscientious provider to push a big enough blob of bandwidth to premise to supply apartment dwellers the same service that their residential customers get.(But, of course, not all do. Depends on their motivation.)

John said...

FGF,

Can you supply any reference for your remarks about FTTP for business from Cox? How common? Cost? Contract? Inquiring minds want to know.

Speed said...

John,
Speaking of inquiring minds, I'm really interested in your opinion of the DVR. How does it compare to Tivo or Cox DVR? Does it allow the option to not record duplicates?
I'm also curious to see what software it's running, like with the Cox DVR it's Passport Echo.

John said...

Hi Speed,

I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't set up my LUS DVR beyond simply hooking it up and getting nice clear service.--I've not set up my sound system and hooked it into my TiVo setup. I keep on saying "this weekend when I can have some fun playing" but it keeps on not happening...

First look only: it seems pretty equivalent to Cox's box and similarly inferior to my TiVo. I'm not really conversant with Cox's box either since I prefer my TiVo. Gotta do some research on that side as well. Part of what I'm trying to find time for is to make my TiVo the interface like I have set up for Cox.

There is a current problem with the LUS box in that it won't record what it doesn't have menu info from--something that comes from a third party. One of my favorite stations, scifi, is caught in that issue. When something like this crops up on my TiVo I can just record manually.

More later. Maybe _this_ weekend? Sorry

Speed said...

John,
I see you mentioned that you are using the TiVo interface with Cox. Are you talking about their analog channels only?
And I'm still a little confused as to how LUS TV works. If you get their digital service, you get no analog through the house right? But if you only want analog, they will convert it to analog through a box on the outside of your house?
And that is weird that you can't record anything with no data. I know what you're talking about with TiVo because when our service expired, we still used the TiVo to pause live TV and do manual recordings with no guide data.

FGF said...

The comment regarding COX and FTTP was not mine and I know little on the subject other than to not only never trust cable co advertising but assume the opposite is in fact the case. They're worse than... no, I won't go there.

John said...

Speed,

Re using TiVo interface with Cox. I almost never use the set top box except to record about 3 HD shows we regularly watch. For anything not HD or where HD doesn't motivate us we only use the TiVo guide and let TiVo switch the cable box channels.

Re LUS service: You probably need to follow up with someone who but the way I understand it is that the "analog tier" gets translated to analog at your house. That set of channels you can use without a box. If you get "analog" that is all you get. If you get digital the box opens access to more "digital" channels that the box decodes.

John said...

FGF,

Sorry, my mistake...just not paying attention.

RayWard said...

I had LUS installed yesterday morning and was curious about how it would work with the Tivo. I have a Tivo3 and 2. From the wall the coax runs into a splitter, 1 to the HD VIP1200 and the other to the Tivo. I ran the setup and LUS Fiber came up along with Cox. I selected LUS and let it pick the channels. I'm able to get up to channel 88, but no HD channels.I'm going to google some more today to see if it's possible to get the HD channels via the Tivo3. I didn't have the HD channels with Cox so I never used the cable cards. I found a link I'm about to try: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=395994

John said...

Ray,

I'll be very interested in your experience. Please post!

Anonymous said...

For those trying to use TiVo channel lineups, try to contact LUS and get them to send a channel lineup to Tribune Media Services for TiVo and the particular zip codes covered. I had to do this for our video systems a few years ago in Carlyss, and the rest of Cameron Parish. I work for Cameron Communications, we have had some FTTx deployments and Video (Cable channels) over DSL for some years now.

Once TiVo has the lineup data, you should be able to select the Zip Code for your location and it should provide a choice of channel selections.

The trick, of course, is to get LUS to keep the lineup with Tribune updated whenever they make a change.

Good Luck!
Howard Latiolais
OSP Engineering Manager
Cameron Communications